One day when I was about 27, my, then boyfriend wanted to go car shopping; Lets “just look” he said, “For fun.” As he lived with me and didn’t have a cent to his name, we shared a car, my car. At the time the suggestion was made I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I hesitantly agreed and we proceeded to visit a car lot. On the lot ‘looking’ at rather expensive rigs my significant other was foaming at the mouth. I personally didn’t have much interest, as I wasn’t particularly into cars and have never been one of those people who cared much about looking ‘cool’ or being ‘in’. Of course after about an hour of ‘just looking’ my boyfriend was test driving and I started to get nervous. Before I knew it ‘we’ were in the finance office with my boyfriend more than happy to sign on the dotted line but there was a catch; his credit was so bad he couldn’t even be on the loan with a co-signer. My credit was good and suddenly they wanted to put everything in my name. The sales manager assured me we could “move everything into his name in a year, no problem.” (this was a bold faced lie). All I really remember from that day was the pressure on all sides: my dishonest boyfriend, the dishonest sales man and the dishonest sales manager. I said at least 3 times, “Let’s go home, I want to think about this first.” And every reply was, “Oh no, you won’t need to do that we can get this worked out today.” As though they were modern day heroes and I had a problem they were going to selflessly fix.
2 years later I had gotten rid of the boyfriend and voluntarily had the vehicle repossessed as I stood in bankruptcy court awaiting a decision about my naiveté. You may think I’m going to tell you I was duped; well I was definitely lied to. You might think I’m going to cry foul and say I was a victim of other people’s broken moral compass. I was wronged!!! Right? But the truth is, I was responsible, because every step of the way, from the boyfriend moving in and needing help to pay his many obligations to the fated day at the car lot, never once was I truly fooled. I didn’t know any of the specific details, which I found out later, however I didn’t need too, I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t told, ‘Proceed with caution’ I was told, ‘Do not proceed!’ very clearly in the pit of my stomach. I knew not to move forward on each step of the way, yet I allowed my intuition to be overridden by others’ selfish interests. Plain and simple, I didn’t trust myself.
I’m not trying to say I have all the answers. I, like everyone else, develop theories based on my experience and observation. 12 years later I can look back and see, I truly wasn’t let down by God or duped by anyone, all the information was there, I just didn’t listen. I believe some call this, ‘denial.’ I didn’t trust myself and in my want to be looked after, I deferred to those that wanted to take advantage. As miserable as that experience was it led to a lot of good. 10 years ago I became a spiritual minister and I also became a loan officer, and eventually a manger, for a credit union. I put all of that so-called ‘bad’ experience to work educating others on making smart financial decisions and following their intuitive sense as to whether or not something is a fit for them . Now as a Spiritual Mentor, I coach people on listening to themselves and heeding the messages they are given. Not to mention I am a ten times happier and more confident person. I gleaned a lot from that humiliating experience and there is no point wasting energy by regretting it.
Life is messy at times and it operates on a trial and error system. I believe all of these messy experiences are opportunities, to not only get to know ourselves, but also to mold ourselves. I was a better person after I went through bankruptcy. Would I recommend it? No way!! Did it have to happen? Not at all, but it did. The truth is I serve others better now that I have had that experience. I also listen to myself and rely upon my internal compass. That alone has made life so much more inspiring and enjoyable.
Holly Holmquist is a Day Minister, Spiritual Mentor and Speaker. Holly offers private mentoring sessions, classes and workshops. Feel free to contact Holly: firstname.lastname@example.org website: holmquistholly.com